Aims and scope
A detailed editorial about the aims and scope for Geoscience Communication can be found here: https://www.geosci-commun.net/1/1/2018/
The purpose of this not-for-profit journal is to help share knowledge and give more "traditional" recognition to science communication in the geosciences. Science communication is used as an umbrella term by GC to cover all aspects of outreach, public engagement, widening participation, knowledge exchange, and any other initiatives within the scope of the journal. It can be thought of as any initiative which seeks to communicate an aspect of geoscience to a wider audience than the experts within that particular field.
Geoscience Communication aims to raise awareness of the importance and value of science communication from a scientist's point of view as part of a broader vision of "geoscience for society". A lot of science communication work is usually performed on a voluntary basis and with little formal academic reward or recognition, so giving researchers, educators, and communicators the opportunity to publish their experiences and work in this area is necessary to address this problem.
The main subject areas are the following: geoscience education, geoscience engagement, geoscience policy, history and philosophy of geosciences, and open geoscience. Whilst all of these subject areas fall within the remit of science communication, GC distinguishes geoscience education as research that is pedagogical in nature, and which takes place in either a formal or informal environment, whereas geoscience engagement is defined as any research which considers engaging the general public.
One of the most important challenges and opportunities for a journal is to be more than just a repository, and to offer the skills and network that is necessary to help the community thrive. For the research that is published in GC to be thoroughly robust, it may be necessary for the authors to incorporate aspects of social science, behavioural science, and science communication theory into their research. As well as having a diverse team of editors to support this process, we will also have a bank of interdisciplinary researchers who we can broker connections with, thereby helping them to improve their manuscript, as well as through formal peer review. This service will also be offered prior to manuscript submission if requested.
Geoscience Communication has an innovative two-stage publication process involving the scientific discussion forum Geoscience Communication Discussions (GCD), which has been designed to do the following:
- foster and provide a lasting record of scientific discussion;
- maximize the effectiveness and transparency of scientific quality assurance;
- enable rapid posting of new scientific results;
- make scientific publications freely accessible.
In the first stage, papers that pass a rapid access peer review are immediately posted on the Geoscience Communication Discussions (GCD) website. They are then subject to interactive public discussion, during which the referees' comments (anonymous or attributed), additional short comments by other members of the scientific community (attributed), and the authors' replies are also posted in GCD. In the second stage, the peer-review process is completed and, if accepted, the final revised papers are published in GC. To ensure publication precedence for authors, and to provide a lasting record of scientific discussion, GCD and GC are both ISSN-registered, permanently archived, and fully citable.
Geoscience Communication also offers an efficient new way of publishing special issues, in which the individual papers are published as soon as they are available and linked electronically (for more information see special issues).